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The February to March deadline is 14 December

Vocals Grade 5

Vocals Grade 5 covers advanced singing techniques such as melismas, slides, trills and scoops. You'll also improve your microphone technique, and bring it all together across a series of performance pieces.

Key Skills at Grade 5

What you'll learn at Grade 5:

  • Two­-part backing vocals, melismas, scoops, harmonising in 3rds, improvisation and development, tonal control through the registers
  • The Minor Pentatonic scale and a major ascending arpeggio with dominant 7 descent covering a range of a 10th
  • Large major intervals, diction, articulation and microphone technique

What You're Marked On

Your Vocals Grade 5 exam lasts 30 minutes and is split into five key sections. Refer to the Vocals Syllabus for in­-depth information and guidance on Vocals Grade 5.

Performance Pieces

Candidates must prepare a total of three pieces for a Grade Exam and five pieces for a Performance Certificate.
There is an option of two Free Choice Pieces for a Grade Exam and three Free Choice Pieces for a Performance Certificate.

Info: As of October 2016, the 'Improvisation Requirements' for 'Performance Pieces', as published in older editions of the 2014 Vocal syllabus, are no longer a mandatory requirement for Rockschool Vocal candidates. While we encourage individual musical interpretation and candidates are free to improvise, the previous 'Improvisation Requirements' are no longer mandatory. Download our 2016 Vocals Syllabus Specification (2.2MB, .pdf) for more details.

Learn more about Free Choice Pieces...

Technical Exercises

At Grade 5 there are five groups of Technical Exercises. The examiner will ask for a selection from each group.

  • Scales
  • Arpeggios
  • Intervals
  • Melodic Study
  • Backing Vocals

Sight Reading/Improvisation and Interpretation

At Grade 5 a choice between Sight Reading OR Improvisation and Interpretation will be offered. A previously unseen test will be used in the exam and an example of this can be found in the Vocals Grade 5 Female book or Vocals Grade 5 Male book.

Sight Reading

Key:

  • Female: D major, Bb major, B minor or D minor
  • Male: D major, Bb major, E minor or D minor
  • Tempo: 85-95 bpm
  • Range: Up to an octave

At Grade 5 the Sight Reading test will feature lyrics and cover a range of up to an octave. The test will be in one of the above keys (the examiner will decide which) and will start with the root note.

Improvisation and Interpretation

Key:

  • Female: D major, Bb major, E minor or D minor
  • Male: D major, Bb major, E minor or D minor
  • Tempo: 100bpm

At Grade 5 the examiner will give the candidate a chord sequence in one of the above keys (the examiner will decide which) and the candidate must improvise a melody over the backing track.

Ear Tests

There are two Ear Tests at Grade 5; Melodic Recall and Harmony Vocals.

Melodic Recall
  • Female: Bb major or A natural minor scale
  • Male: D major or C natural minor scale
  • Tempo: 90bpm

The examiner will play a two­-bar melody played to a drum backing. It will use up to the first six notes of one of the above scales (the examiner will decide which) and the first note will be the root note.

Harmony Vocals
  • A major or F major
  • C major or A major
  • Tempo: 90-110bpm

The examiner will play a four-­bar melody in one of the above keys (the examiner will decide which) and this will be based on the I–IV-V chords

General Musicianship Questions

General Musicianship Questions are included to test further musical understanding and voice knowledge. At Grade 5 you will be asked five questions, four on general music knowledge, and the fifth will be about voice.

  • Four general music knowledge questions on the piece including; pitch names, intervals, note values, time and key signatures and dynamic and tempo markings
  • One question based on voice including; articulators, injury prevention, dynamics and microphone technique

You can find an expansive list of general musicianship questions in the Vocals Companion Guide.

Vocals GMQ Sample (90KB, .pdf)

Timing

Your Grade 5 exam lasts 30 minutes for a Grade Exam or 25 minutes for a Performance Certificate. Candidates are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before their exam starts.

Get Started Today!

You can start working towards your Vocals Grade 5 exam now! Simply buy or download the Vocals Grade 5 Female book or Vocals Grade 5 Male book, and start preparing alongside your singing teacher.

If you don't have a singing teacher, you can quickly find the nearest teacher to you with our handy find a music teacher map.



Books for Vocals Grade 5

  • Vocals Grade 5 Book Cover Vocals Grade 5

    TThe Female Vocals Grade 5 book contains everything you need to pass your first Vocals Grade exam.

  • Vocals Grade 5 Book Cover Vocals Grade 5

    The Male Vocals Grade 5 book contains everything you need to pass your Vocals Grade exam.

  • Vocals Companion Guide Book Cover Vocals Companion Guide

    The Vocals Companion Guide book features over 200 "unseen" test examples.

  • Workbook Grade 5 Book Cover Workbook Grade 5

    The Rockschool Grade 5 Theory Workbook is the ideal preparation for your Grade 5 theory exam.